Delicious Sponge Cake by by Lisa Jones Baker

This second novel in the Hope Chest of Dreams series introduces readers to Annie Mast, one of three young Amish women, each gifted with a hand-carved hope chest to hold her treasures. Baking delicious sponge cakes are Annie’s specialty and a source of comfort for her. The recipe is one she learned from a good friend, Esther, who has since passed away.  After she died, Annie decided to keep on Esther’s baking tradition to honor her memory. Healing, therapeutic, and calming, there is nothing that restores Annie’s faith more than seeing someone enjoy her baked treats.



1 cup cake flour
6 medium eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. lemon extract
¼ cup cold water
1 tsp. cream of tartar
Frosting (optional)



Set oven to 325 degrees ten minutes before baking. Use a 10-inch tube pan—do not grease.

Sift flour, measure, resift 3 times.

Put egg whites into a mixing bowl.

Put yolks into a separate bowl; gradually beat in half of the sugar (½ cup) with a rotary beater until so thick beater is difficult to turn, at least 5 minutes.

With a wooden spoon, beat in flavorings.

Now add flour and water alternatively in 3 or 4 portions, beating vigorously after each.

Sift cream of tartar over whites and beat with clean rotary beater until stiff enough to form soft, shiny peaks, then add rest of sugar gradually and beat until shiny meringue forms pointed peaks that curve at tips.

Use a rubber scraper to quickly fold yolk mixture into the whites lightly but thoroughly. Then flow batter into pan.

Bake cake on bottom rack 1 hour or until it springs back when touched lightly with finger. Remove from oven; invert at once over large funnel or bottle if pan does not stand on tube or side supports. When cool, remove from pan like Angel Food. Frosting is optional.  (You can also bake it in a circular ungreased cake pan.)


Three young Amish women, each gifted with a hand-carved hope chest, find that one by one, with patience and faith, their most blessed dreams for the future can come true…

Annie Mast and Levi Miller were best friends until his father was shunned by the church. Now, ten years later, Levi has returned to Arthur, Illinois, for a brief visit, and he and Annie discover their bond is as strong as ever. Spending as much time together as possible, Annie finds herself dreaming of a future with Levi. And Levi is soon dreaming of building a home on a beautiful local hillside—to live in with Annie. Yet their longings are unlikely to become reality…

Levi is part of the English world, and while Annie cannot see herself there, she knows she must reveal her heart’s truth to him. And Levi, strongly reminded of his Amish roots, knows he must heal the bitterness of the past. And together, with love on their side, they just may find their way to an answered prayer…



Rachel Kauffman and Jarred Zimmerman seem to have nothing in common. She’s the outgoing youngest of a large, close-knit Amish clan, and longs to raise a brood of her own near those she loves. Estranged from his family by tragedy, Jarred is a young veterinarian who trusts the animals he heals far more than he trusts people. However, when Rachel’s beloved horse falls ill, Jarred’s struggles to save him show Rachel he’s a man who cares deeply. And the respect he feels for her gentle warmhearted ways soon becomes an irresistible bond…

When Rachel tries to help Jarred reunite with his parents, it is an unexpected blessing—with one complication. If he takes this chance to put his past to rest, it could separate him and Rachel for good. Now, with prayer, love—and her hope chest’s small miracles—Jarred and Rachel must find the courage to reconcile their wishes into a joyous life together.

“Written with tenderness and simplicity.” —New York Times bestselling author Joan Wester Anderson, on Rebecca’s Bouquet